D&D (2024) 2024 Player's Handbook reveal: "New Monk"

"Largely a new class!"


Video Breakdown

Base Monk Class Notes
  • Knew monk was going to get a lot of attention - both satisfaction scores and actual play numbers have historically tended to be a bit low
  • Similar to ranger, monk is largely a "new class"
  • Martial Arts feature at 1st level
    • Monk weapons have been broadened to all simple melee weapons and martial melee weapons with light property
    • Can make an unarmed strike as bonus action
    • Can choose to use Dex to set DCs for unarmed strike grapple and shove options (see general notes below)
    • Martial Arts die - starts at d6 at level 1, scales to d12 at level 17
  • Monk's Focus feature at 2nd level
    • Ki/Discipline Points are now Focus Points
    • Patient Defense - can Disengage as bonus action for free
      • Spending 1 Focus Point lets you both Disengage and Dodge at the same time
    • Step of the Wind - can Dash as bonus action for free
      • Spending 1 Focus Point lets you both Dash and Disengage at the same time, and additionally your Jump distance is doubled for the rest of your turn
    • Flurry of Blows - Spend 1 Focus Point to make two unarmed strikes as bonus action
  • Uncanny Metabolism feature at 2nd level ("I didn't hear no bell.")
    • When rolling initiative, can regain all expended Focus Points and restore a number of hit points (1/long rest)
  • Redesigned Deflect Attacks feature at 3rd level
    • Roll d10 + Dex + Monk level to reduce damage from any attack that deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage
    • If damage is reduced to zero, can spend Focus Point to redirect force of attack to someone else - target makes a saving throw and on failure suffers an amount of Force damage based on your Martial Arts die
    • Upgrades to Deflect Energy at 13th level - can deflect any damage type
  • Self Restoration feature at 10th level
    • Can end Charmed, Frightened, or Poisoned condition on self at end of monk's turn for free
  • Heightened Focus feature at 10th level - further enhancements to Patient Defense, Step of the Wind, and Flurry of Blows (not detailed)
  • Superior Defense feature at 18th level - mentioned as example of ways they've increased monk survivability, but not detailed
  • Disciplined Survivor feature (level not mentioned) - mentioned as example of ways they've increased monk survivability, allows monk to reroll saving throws
  • Stunning Strike feature
    • Can only be used once per turn, but always does something
    • If target fails saving throw, they are stunned
    • If target succeeds on saving throw, their speed is halved and the next attack roll against them has advantage
  • Epic Boon at 19th level - no example specified

Subclass Notes
  • Warrior of Mercy
    • Largely the same, save for tweaks to better integrate subclass with new version of the base monk class
  • Warrior of the Elements
    • Completely replaces Way of the Four Elements
    • Elemental Attunement - not always active, costs Focus Points to "turn on"
      • Can increase reach of unarmed strikes using elemental power ("Not a Mr. Fantastic or One Piece style stretchy punch" :p)
      • Can change damage type to one of elemental themed options (not specified, but generally guessable)
      • Can force target to make a saving throw and move them around battlefield on a failure
    • Gain Elementalism cantrip
    • At 6th level, can take Magic action and expend some Focus Points to cause elemental explosion in 20-foot radius sphere up to 120 feet away, dealing damage based on Martial Arts Die
    • Themed around tapping into Elemental Chaos as a whole, rather than just one of the Elemental Planes
    • At 11th level, gain fly and swim speed when Elemental Attunement is active
    • Elemental Epitome at 17th level
      • Further improves Elemental Attunement
      • Gain elemental damage resistance (can be changed at start of every turn)
      • When using Step of the Wind, speed is increased and you can cause damage to enemies you pass
      • Additional option to deal bonus elemental damage once per turn (not elaborated)
  • Warrior of Shadow
    • Can cast Darkness spell as before, but can now see through that darkness
    • Improved Shadowstep at 11th level
      • Can expend Focus Point to remove requirement to start/end teleportation in dim light or darkness, and can make an unarmed strike as part Shadowstep bonus action
    • Cloak of Shadows at 17th level
      • Turn invisible and partially incorporeal (can pass through occupied spaces as difficult terrain), and Flurry of Blows does not cost Focus Points while Cloak of Shadows is active
    • Kendrick: "Would love to see the Archfey Warlock and Shadow Monk teleporting around the battlefield fighting each other."
      • Crawford: "Not a PvP game." :p
  • Warrior of the Open Hand
    • Wholeness of Body feature at 6th level
      • Now a bonus action and can be used multiple times per day
    • Fleet Step feature (level not specified)
      • Whenever you take a bonus action to do anything other than Step of the Wind, you can also use Step of the Wind immediately after that bonus action
    • Revised Quivering Palm
      • Deals a "truckload" of damage on failed save and a "smaller truckload" of damage on a successful one, but can no longer instantly drop creatures down to 0 hp

General Notes
  • Baseline (gold?) dragonborn monk iconic art has a tail.
  • Unarmed strike redesigned, intended to grant similar tactical versatility to that offered by weapon mastery - now includes three options:
    • Deal damage
    • Attempt to start a grapple
    • Attempt to shove target
 

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Remathilis

Legend
A few moments ago, I watched the portion of the clip that talked about the Warrior of the Elements subclass. It sounds better than the 2014 Way of the Four Elements subclass. However, I think the subclass should have offered the player the option to control a single element. As not everyone wants to be the Avatar. ;) I would rather be a simple Earthbender. ;)

Currently I am a fan of the Manual of Adventurous Resources: Complete Elementalist class. An A5e take on PF1's Kineticist class.
There is nothing stopping you from using only one element, but there is no benefit for doing that either.
 

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A few moments ago, I watched the portion of the clip that talked about the Warrior of the Elements subclass. It sounds better than the 2014 Way of the Four Elements subclass.
It's better in a way (you have reach for the fight by spending 1 Ki!), but worse at being interesting (it really just offers the reach).

However, I think the subclass should have offered the player the option to control a single element. As not everyone wants to be the Avatar.
FWIW, the flavor in Elements Monk is so lightly there, that you can just pick one element and that's it. Though lv11 flight might be a tad weird to explain ('it's just magnetism, guys!').

Element Monk's lv6 blast is likely still the same as it was in the playtest (as Crawford just said 'scales with your unarmed damage die'). Which in the playtest meant 3 x unarmed damage die of damage (save for half), so if you need to do 8 points of damage to a wide area, Element Monk's your rat exterminator, but that's about it.
 


g00se99994

Explorer
The deflect attacks ability you can get around as a DM by having big hits or many multiple small ones, but its hard to do in a subtle way. I think they tooned that up to much. I've already seen it in my games and I generally like to keep my encounters balanced to a party and not gang up on a single class. Anyway, its very strong.
 

Milieu

Explorer
My notes from the video:
  • Monk and the ranger are "largely new classes".
  • Lv 1 Martial Arts:
    • Monk weapons are Simple Melee Weapons and Martial Melee Weapons with the Light property.
    • Unarmed strike can be used as a bonus action, no longer tied to Attack action.
    • Unarmed strike can do damage, grapple, or shove.
    • Can use Dexterity instead of Strength to set DC for Grapple and Shove (does not mention using it for damage as in UA8?)
    • Martial Arts Die starts at d6 and goes up to d12
  • Lv 2: Monk's Focus - Ki points are now Focus points (not Discipline as in UA8)
    • Features under it return "in name only".
    • Flurry of Blows - Spend 1 Focus point to make 2 Unarmed Strikes as a Bonus Action. (Doesn't have a free option, because you get that at level 1.)
    • Patient Defense - Can take Disengage action as a bonus action. Spend 1 Focus Point to also Dodge action.
    • Step of the Wind - Can Dash action as a bonus action. Spend 1 Focus Point to also Disengage and double jump distance.
  • Lv 2: Uncanny Metabolism: When you roll initiative, once per long rest, you get all Focus points back and a certain number of hit points back.
  • Lv 3: Deflect Attacks: deflect attacks that do Bludgeoning Piercing, or Slashing. Reduce damage by 1d10 + Dex mod + Monk level. If it's reduced to 0, spend a Focus point to redirect to another creature. Target makes a save. If they fail, they take Force damage based on your Martial Arts die. (In UA 8, the damage type was the same as the original attack.)
    • Lv 13: Deflect Energy: upgrades Deflect Attacks to work on any damage type.
  • Stunning Strike - "One of the only places in the monk where a feature got toned down a bit". Can only be used once per turn. If the target fails the save, they are stunned; if the target succeeds on the save, their speed is halved until the start of your next turn and the next attack roll against them has advantage. (In UA8, target took some damage on a successful save.)
  • Lv 10: Self-Restoration: Combines at elements they used to have in other features. At the end of your turn remove Charmed, Frightened, or Poisoned. No longer has an action economy cost.
  • Lv 10: Heightened Focus - upgrades the Monk's Focus options.
  • Disciplined Survivor - lets you reroll saving throws (no level mentioned, but was 14 in UA8)
  • Lv 18: Superior Defense - not explained apart from helping survivability, but in UA 8 it let you spend 3 points to give resistance to all damage except Force damage for 1 minute or until incapacitated.
  • Lv 19: Epic Boon
  • Subclasses - subclass names have been unified to "Warrior of __" format, similar to Sorcerer and other classes
    • Warrior of Mercy (from Tasha's Way of Mercy):
      • Pretty much the same, with minor tweaks
    • Warrior of Elements (replaces Way of 4 Elements):
      • Lv 3: Elemental Attunement - Spend focus points to turn on increased reach of unarmed strikes using tendrils of air/water/fire/earth
      • Lv 3: New Elementalism cantrip - can be used to shape elements around them
      • Lv 3: When you hit a target with Elemental Attunement, you can change damage type to elemental, and make them save or be pushed.
      • Lv 6: Can use the Magic action and spend Focus Points to cause an elemental explosion in a 20' radius sphere, range 120 ft, damage based on martial arts die.
      • You aren't locked to one particular element. You can pick the element every time you use one of these features.
      • Lv 11: You get a fly speed and a swim speed.
      • Lv 17: Elemental Epitome:
        • Choose elemental damage resistance at the start of each turn: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder.
        • Increases speed when using step of the wind and causes damage to foes you move by.
    • Warrior of Shadow:
      • Can still cast Darkness, but can now see in it.
      • Lv 11: Spend 1 focus point to make Shadow Step not require starting or ending dim light or darkness. Can make an Unarmed Strike as a bonus action after teleporting.
      • Lv 17: Cloak of Shadows: Turn invisible and partially incorporeal: pass through occupied squares as difficult terrain. Can use Flurry of Blows for free while in this state.
    • Warrior of the Open Hand:
      • Wholeness of Body: Heal as a bonus action, multiple times per day
      • Can use Step of the Wind after any bonus action (except when using the bonus action to Step of the Wind in the first place).
      • Quivering Palm: Deals "a truckload of damage" on a failed save, and "a smaller truckload of damage" on a successful save. No longer instant death.
 
Last edited:


Kurotowa

Legend
Mostly seems to be intact from the UAs, except that Stunning Strike just has a lesser effect on a successful save.
Yeah, the only two clear changes from UA I noticed were the Stunning Strike save change and the rename to Focus Points. There's also a mention in the blog post about Mercy's 11th level feature being limited to Proficiency Bonus times per day, but Mercy wasn't reprinted in UA. Otherwise, yeah, all about the same.
 


TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
The deflect attacks ability you can get around as a DM by having big hits or many multiple small ones, but its hard to do in a subtle way. I think they tooned that up to much. I've already seen it in my games and I generally like to keep my encounters balanced to a party and not gang up on a single class. Anyway, its very strong.
One of the characters in my classless 5e game gained that ability (using Deflect Arrows on melee attacks). After about a dozen sessions seeing it in action, I would absolutely agree it's extremely strong.
 

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